Disney Goes Social

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Disney will launch a new site next week focused on social networking for kids. The site will be similar to MySpace.com but will have parental controls and feature chat and video clips. Analysts are skeptical about the success of the site despite the strong brand behind it.

“Where Disney might pick up the most traction is with young teens, or tweens, kids that are not quite ready for MySpace or Facebook, and parents that want a little more control over what their kids do online”, said Debra Williamson, a senior analyst at eMarketer.

The site will allow users to multitask online, a feature that is appealing to kids. They will be able to watch video, play games, chat and listen to music. The company will also offer Disney Xtreme Digital, which will allow users to create profiles and share them with others.

One drawback to the site could be that all the content will be exclusively Disney. Plans are in the works to change that but only if outside content could be monitored.

The issue of parental control has some saying the site could wind up like Wal-Marts site the Hub that failed due to strict censorship. Considering the target market Disney is trying to reach that may not be such an important issue.

“For children of a certain age, the assets Disney has are going to attract large audiences no matter what,” said Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff. “The question now is whether Disney can foster a deeper level of community engagement on par with the MySpaces of the world.”

CEO Robert Iger in Las Vegas will officially introduce the site on January 8 at the Consumer Electronics Show.

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Mike is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

Disney Goes Social
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